Masterchef Masterclass – write to me and escape
It’s Masterclass time again, where two celebrated chefs – who picked out a bunch of random ingredients about a week ago and were probably thinking about possible dishes during selection (not to mention the time they’ve had since) – will attempt to demonstrate to a group of amateurs what they should have cooked in their 30 minute time limit. Oh, this is wearying. If there are no cocktails by the end of this, I shall be very put out.
My absence-of-cocktail fears are assuaged as early as the previews, so there goes one potential source of dramatic tension. “If you like Pina Coladas, getting caught in the rain…”
At least Julie gets us off to a flying start by qualifying “unique” in her Poh-logy. And George says “undoubtably”. It’s going to be a good night for language purists.
What would of George done wiv the mystery box? Kingfish skewers and a raw salad of zucchini. It’s testimony to the food trends of the 90s that George says “raw” salad. It’s a pretty impressive offering, isn’t it, given that he’s had a week to figure it out. I think that if any contestant had dished that up, they’d have been slammed for being unoriginal. You know, kind of like Julie was that time for doing prawn skewers.
George asks Gary what he would of made and we get the promise of Pina Coladas. “If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain…”
If this stops making sense, it’s because I’m drinking every time George says “literally”.
Andre tastes the kingfish and thinks it will go nicely with a pina colada. “If you like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape…”
Coming up – the Masterchef contestants get a b-i-g surprise. Of course, anybody who’s been paying attention will be completely underwhelmed by this development. We’ve known they’re going to Hong Kong for, like, literally, ever.
Justine’s now learning how to make pina coladas. “Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for – write to me and escape.”
I miss Geni and her assiduous note taking, although the absence of any note taking amongst the final five right now could just be a reflection of the fact that this masterclass is shit.
When Gary tells Justine her pina colada isn’t creamy enough and she responds that she wanted to be able to taste the Bacardi, he seems to go all snippy and quiet. Then he calls George over to adjudicate. (He sneaks in an extra dollop of rum just before the taste test.) George asks if there’s lime in there – was he paying attention? They made the bloody thing step by step. I want to see him doing the ingredients test. He doesn’t know whose he likes better – Gary’s is too boozy and Justine’s is… I dunno. “I’m not much into health food, I am into champagne…”
Lucas! We’ve missed you! We see him working with Manu at L’Etoile and he’s enjoying the experience. Manu seems impressed by his progress and Lucas thinks that learning all the technique will hold him in good stead in the competition. I hate to disappoint you, Lucas, but technique hasn’t really figured in the show so far. You might come back and blow them away with your mad skillz, but if Sam pops a piece of grilled fish on lumpy mash, you’ll be toast, brother.
I can’t believe they are using Geni’s saganaki dish as the basis for their remake! That dish got her in the bottom three and, subsequently, booted! Gary says it was wrecked by the tomatoes, but I think this proves that Sam’s crappy “fondant” and prawn and vegie soup should have been bottom three and Geni should therefore be there now, taking notes, and being the sexiest 54 year old on tele. Anyway, that’s all immaterial now, and maybe she’s flattered that Julie and Gary are making a prawns and feta dish inspired by her.
You know it’s a bland Masterchef when the most interesting food you see is in the Lite’n’Easy ad.
Gary’s cooking the prawns and he’s putting on some really strange voices and accents. He’s starting to “bung” things in – he’s “talkin’ rustic”, he’s “talkin’ straight-to-the-table, no fiddling, no faddling”. Somebody’s been studying his Jamie Oliver collection. God, he even does the “lovely” (but holds the jubbly). Ange, if you’re watching, I’m sure you’re rocking backwards and forwards by now with all of Gary’s endin’s. It’s causing blood to pour from my ears.
He calls his creation a “one pot saganaki”, but… how many pots does a saganaki usually take? Also, was there any fried cheese? Crumbling feta on a dish is not saganaki, Gary. Readers, please let me know if I dropped off and missed it when they fried some cheese.
Gary’s now giving us tips. “Use fresh prawns, use fresh tomatoes.” Oh dear, they’re not tips. I’d say they’re basic requirements.
Lets revisit pastry, shall we? Sam, who screwed up his wedding task, joins Gary for the lesson. We see a shot of the final product, which is a tart piled high with raspberries. It’s exactly the kind of thing I buy from the patisserie as a cheat’s dessert, and then make a hash of cutting up because raspberries piled that high? Fall in a big heap when the tart is portioned.
Sam doesn’t even possess rolling pin skills. Oh, god. Gary tells him to keep turning the pastry as he rolls. Sam turns the pastry, but then starts rolling from totally uncoordinated angles. This, even after Gary demonstrated the technique. I think he’s a bit touched. And if Sam had been paying attention at the wedding cake icing stage – i.e. before he nicked off for a kip – he would have already seen the rolling-the-pastry-on-the-pin technique. Show us something new, guys!
George piles punnet after punnet of raspberries onto the tart, and sprinkles it with icing sugar. Gary tries to cut it and – guess what? The raspberries fall in a heap. Sam goes in for a taste.
“What are you tasting?” FFS, George, it’s pastry, cream and raspberries! Not 18 bleedin’ ingredients.
And now… drum roll… the big reveal: Hong Kong! Okay, so it’s news to the contestants. They look very happy, but Chris tries to dial the energy back a bit by reminding us that it’s not going to be a holiday. No, but… Hong Kong!
- Did George look like he was in a total funk every time the camera was off him?
- I’m sick of these stupid post-recorded interviews that play as though they were recorded at the time.
- Even though I knew they were going to Hong Kong, I’m still extremely jealous.